Monday 3 March 2014

Waste Not Want Not: When a Dress is Just not Twirly Enough!

So, do you remember last autumn, when I had a case of summer envy while reading overseas blogs and seeing all the cute clothes ideas and designs for summer?  I decided I'd put all that jealous energy into getting a head-start on some summer clothing for my girls, and made a bunch of sweet little things.

Well, one of my favourite designs was this heart-back dress, the Sweetheart Dress.  I love Shannon's designs!  Anyway, Hannah has love, love loved this dress, and if given the chance to choose her clothes for the day, she often reaches straight for her "heart dress".  Bethany on the other hand, well other than this photo-shoot day for the blog post back in October, she hasn't gone near this dress.  She wears tonnes of the clothes that I've made for her, so I was pretty sure it wasn't an anti-homemade-clothes thing, and I thought she liked the fabric, seeing as she chose it and all.  Anyway, after a bit of prodding one morning when choosing an outfit to wear, she eventually owned up to the fact that she doesn't like this dress because it's not twirly enough.  Of course, it's all about the twirl-factor when you're nearly 6 isn't it!  Dah, Mummy!  

My heart sunk initially 'cause I love this dress, and in my mind I was already putting it away for about 3 years until Hannah can fit into it, but then I was struck with an idea … A TOP doesn't need to be twirly does it!?! … and this design would really look just as pretty in a top as it does in a dress … coupled with a pair of leggings, or maybe some shorts … hmmmm.  

I decided that before I acted on my plan, I'd better check with little-miss-twirl-a-lot.  I asked her if she would wear the dress if it were a top, and she excitedly said yes, and jumped up and down saying … "That would be perfect, 'cause I love the heart in the back, Mum!"  Yay … Mummy just may have done a happy dance too!

So here's what I did …

1. I lay the dress out on the table, as flat as I could, and decided on the length I wanted it then added 1/2 inch for the hem … It would probably definitely be a good idea to actually measure the wearer, but you know … I'm never that organised, and she wasn't home when I did it, so I just guessed … phew … I guessed right for once!

2.  In this case I measured from the join at the bottom of the bodice, and I decided we needed 9 inches. So I measured down from the bodice-line and using a pencil I marked the 9-inch point at several intervals across the dress.  I then just took a deep breath and started cutting, using scissors, along the dress, cutting from marking to marking until the dress was no longer a dress, but a super-cute flowy summer top.

3.  I overlocked (serged) the cut-line to stop it from fraying, then turned up a 1/2 inch hem, pinned it all around and sewed.  Ta-da … it's done.  And it really is as simple as that!

BUT …..

In true What's Mummy Up To Waste-Not-Want-Not style, I just couldn't bring myself to throw the bottom portion of the dress in the rubbish.  Instead, I just overlocked around the cut edge, and turned it down 1 inch.  

I then sewed around at about 1/8 inch from the raw edge, leaving a 1 inch gap at the end of the row of stitching.

I threaded some half-inch elastic through using a safety pin, then joined the elastic with a few zig zag stitches, then top-stitched to sew the gap closed, and ….

… now Hannah has a skirt!  Please ignore the extremely crushed top she's wearing ... I may or may not have fished it out of the laundry basket to quickly snap this pic while we had a break between super-heavy rain this afternoon!  You know how it is ...

Anyway, both girls are pretty chuffed with their new clothes, so I think that counts as a win for Mummy!  What do you think?

1 comment :

  1. I LOVE the heart shaped cut out! So cute! Thanks for visiting Night Owl Corner....just stopping by to check out your blog too!